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The Flame in the Mist

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  71 reviews
WINNER of the 2014 SCBWI Atlantic Region CRYSTAL KITE AWARD

Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Features Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.

Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind
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Hardcover, 464 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Delacorte Press
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Secrets of the Realm by Bev StoutDualed by Elsie ChapmanTaken by Erin BowmanPivot Point by Kasie WestLet the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
2013 Debut Authors of Young Adult & Middle Grade
13th out of 186 books — 657 voters
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YA Debuts 2013
72nd out of 523 books — 2,399 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,493)
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Middle grade novels are such a delight for me and such a nice break from YA, with an increased focus on family and a lack of romance. In general, I've been so very lucky picking middle grade books, so I guess it was inevitable that I would finally pick out a clunker. Friends, I do not say this often, but almost nothing in this book worked for me, sad though I am to have to say it. The Flame in the Mist was an over-lengthy, boring disappointment. Also, be warned that this review will contain SPOI ...more
Ionia
Okay--someone has to be telling untruths here...there is no way that this is a debut novel. This is too good to be a first book!

"The Flame in the Mist" by author Kit Grindstaff is an incredible fantasy with all the elements you want in a fantasy read. Jemma is the perfect heroine to lead the way in this absorbing and well-written tale. She is strong and funny, smart and sassy--the epitome of what the young fantasy heroine should be.

I fell in love with her two rats, Noodle and Pie. Telepathic r
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Ticklish Owl
I was pleasantly surprised by Flame in the Mist, which I decided to read solely based on the the names of the two golden rats. I had pet gerbils called Pudding and Pie when I was a kid, so it's not surprising that I found Noodle and Pie endearing. They prove to be excellent companions for Jemma.

The story is compelling, with a well paced plot, and nicely polished writing. The lack of awkward sentences or unrealistic dialog is rare in a debut novel, Ms Grindstaff and her editor did a fantastic jo
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Leslie
Grindstaff's debut is a solid entry into the lists of middle-grade fantasy. Jemma is the youngest Agromond daughter, but she doesn't feel as if she belongs. Imagine if Harry Potter had been brought up by the Malfoy family, and you'll understand. Much like Harry, when Jemma gets the chance to escape her unloving family and reach for friendship and love, she does so. In the process she just happens to discover that she may be the "Fire One," and the hope of her world.

Grindstaff's characters are we
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Demitria Lunetta
Recommended for fans of: MG Fantasy

I loved this book, it’s exactly the book I wish I had when I was ten and obsessed with anything fantasy (who am I kidding, I still am!) I loved the darkness, both in imagery and theme. What’s creepier than a land shrouded in perpetual mist? I also like how Grindstaff presents Jemma’s world, then throughout the book digs deeper, peeling of layers one at a time. No information is too overwhelming (though some is just the right amount of disturbing), and unfolds p
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Laura Golden
I was blown away by Kit Grindstaff's THE FLAME IN THE MIST. It is wonderfully dark and creepy and tension-filled. Add to that a bit of gore, a touch of romance, and the vilest of villains, and you have a winner sure to keep even slightly older readers (just shy of YA-ready) turning the pages.

The dialect used here strongly reminded me of Karen Cushman's use of dialect in THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE, and the darkness and foreboding called to mind THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN by Lloyd Alexander. Wonderf
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Mariel
Aug 19, 2013 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone!
Shelves: favorites


I must say that I ADORE this book. Its storyline is unbelievably well thought out, and it's just so much fun to read! It's beautifully written and the characters are very like-able and have so many layers. I often find myself wondering about this book as if it were truth; as if the people were real, and the conflicts not imaginary. I shelve this book with my other favorites, and I'm trying to decide if Harry Potter is any better.... :) . I crown The Flame in the Mist a must-read! I LOVE IT KIT!
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Stefan Bachmann
I got this one to blurb and it's a tonnn of fun. Kind of like the Addams Family mixed with high fantasy and a dash of Frankenstein. You might like it. :D

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

I really, really wanted to love this novel. Middle grade fantasy can be really inventive and fun, but after several days and 300 pages of struggle, I had to call it. A fantasy with a lighter tone, with The Flame in the Mist Grindstaff weaves themes of courage and endurance, but it never really resonated with me. Younger readers will probably find more to love with Jemma's story, but I needed more subtlety and originality in order to cl
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Claire Caterer
What a marvelous read for fantasy lovers! Upper-middle-graders will love the detail Kit Grindstaff has used to create the world of Anglavia, a country held in the grip of an evil ruling family whose power manifests itself as a choking Mist that blankets the land. But when the youngest member of the family, Jemma, realizes she’s not like the others, everything starts to change.

Readers will quickly identify with 13-year-old Jemma, who has a strong heart but doesn’t always do everything right, and
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M.L. LeGette
3.5 stars.

This book has everything that makes me happy: a magical land, murderous villains, a young odd ball girl with special abilities. If my pre-teen self had gotten hold of this book, she would have been beyond gleeful.

The book, though good and I highly recommend for young teens, had problems. It started off strong. Jemma’s ‘family’ made me very curious and I envisioned their crumbling castle and selves after the 1981 version of Swan Lake.

But then it slowed down. A lot. By the middle of the
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Tasha
Apr 29, 2013 Tasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Jemma thinks she is the youngest daughter of the Agromond family, readying herself for the day her Powers will finally reveal themselves fully. But before that can happen, her true past is revealed and Jemma understands why she has never been able to do the black magic that her family does so easily. Now she has to escape their castle and enter the dangerous mist that can read a person’s intentions. She only has the help of her two golden rats, a decrepit old servant, and a trusted friend, Digby ...more
Audrey
I had mixed feelings about The Flame in the Mist. It opens with a family conjuring up nasty things in tribute to a dark god as part of a weekly family ritual. However, daughter Jemma can't create anything dark, and doesn't fit in with the rest of her family. It turns out that she isn't really supposed to be there, and that they have evil intentions for her. Together with her rat friends, she battles to escape the castle and the enchanted mist that surrounds the area. Of course, there is a prophe ...more
Lara
I...didn't love this. I actually didn't even really like this all that much. I liked the idea, but...you know what it was? The dialogue drove me nuts. It all seemed so trite and immature somehow--all the "Nooooooo!"s really got on my nerves. And I felt like it took about three times as long for everything to happen as it should have. And in the meantime, I couldn't actually get attached to any of the characters enough to care about what was happening (very slowly) to them. Plus, it seemed like t ...more
Rachael Lauritzen
This was a good YA read. There were a few elements that were a little too transparent or cliche and I found the twin rituals disturbing, but fortunately there was little detail there and it did make for an interesting plot. Overall the book was engagingly written and did the "finding oneself"/hero journey well. I also enjoyed the techniques for dealing with negative or destructive thoughts--as a parent, it seemed to me that it was included not just for the benefit of the book, but the young read ...more
David Beeson
Mist enshrouds Anglavia.

But this is no ordinary phenomenon of the weather, this is the work of the Agromond family. The mist has lasted 300 years and it never rises. Indeed, worse than that, it is expanding as the Agromonds extend their domination over Anglavia. The mist is the tool of the family’s baleful power, and in the way it blots out the sun, it also embodies the dull, aching abjection into which it precipitates Anglavia’s enslaved people.

But at the very start of the book we read of the
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Nicole McInnes
Here are my thoughts (in a nutshell) on Kit Grindstaff's wonderful THE FLAME IN THE MIST: Such rich prose! Such tingly suspense! Jemma is a fiery and determined heroine for the ages, battling darkness like a boss. And now I simply MUST have my own Rattusses like Noodle & Pie. Thank you, Kit, for writing such a lovely book! <3
Ann
This was a wonderful book. It reads so well. You love the characters and you root for them through all their struggles. This is a tale of light vs. dark, good vs. evil. I am so glad this was a stand alone novel and not part one of a series, It would have dove me crazy if I had to wait for the ending.
Turtles
Oct 23, 2014 Turtles added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I made it about half way into this, and it's unfortunately too far outside my age-group. It was recommended to me as a YA-Fantasy type, but it was in the Children's section of the library. I thought lots of the situations were YA-like in danger-level; although the heroine is just-turned 13, the way the story is, it come across in that for-kids way. The heroine always has a convenient out for the danger or someone helping her. We don't get many solutions directly committed by the main character, ...more
Liesl Shurtliff
Dark and adventurous middle-grade, very well written and intensely engaging.
Alexa
Most fantasy novels have a serious tone, with skirmishes and situations that offer the harshest consequences and the greatest triumphs imaginable. Reading a book like The Flame in the Mist, however, reminds me of just how fun they can be! While the stakes are certainly high for Jemma and her allies, while there’s gore and blood and death, there’s something light in its tone, perhaps due to its target age group – middle grade readers. With a simple plot and some rather… interesting companion char ...more
Valen
The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff was a wonderful and very intelligent Middle Grade novel in the lieu of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter! I loved it!

The story takes places in a world called Anglavia, a land that is dominated by an evil family who control the mist that covers the entire land and chokes the people, keeping them under their control. It is in this dark family that the story's MC comes from, a young girl named Jemma who comes to understand t
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Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
Background: Jemma has lived at the castle as long as she can remember, but recently she has learned that she is not part of the family that lives there. She was kidnapped as a child and stolen to take her magic at her coming of age. She must leave the castle to find her real parents and protect herself, while also trying to fulfill a prophecy.

Review: I loved this book. It took me a while to get through it, not for lack of plot but because I was listening to the audiobook in my car and just wasn’
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YA Reads Book Reviews
Originally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.

The Flame in the Mist is a really cute middle grade book that younger readers (and even older readers) are going to enjoy! While YA and adult fantasy novels can be a bit more intense, this one is geared toward kids and is more light. It's full of interesting characters, a unique plot, humor, and a-freakin-dorable sidekicks, a.k.a the mice (you can see them on the girls shoulders in the picture.) I'm a big fan of middle grade paranormal an
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Bookworm1858
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Allow me a moment of digression to open this review. This weekend I happened to catch the beginning of "Brave" and my response to that film is rather similar to my response to this book. I'm pleased as punch to see a spunky red-headed female protagonist navigating a fantastical world, don't get me wrong. Yet unlike "Finding Nemo" and "Up" and despite my very high expectations, "Brave" failed to fully engage my emotions. Sim
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Kelsey
This is a good read for a middle grader who can handle 366 pages, a tightly interwoven plot, and entrails. Lots and lots of entrails.

The Flame in the Mist follows Jemma, a thirteen-year-old girl who grows up with the evil Agromand family in a world covered by a thick, hate-filled mist. She discovers that she was kidnapped from her real family because she is the Fire One, destined to either destroy the Agromands or give up her powers to them and make them stronger than ever. Over the course of fo
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Emily (On Emily's Bookshelf)
I normally don't read middle grade books, but since this book is upper middle grade and looked amazing, I decided to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did!
It's a great read for Halloween (which is only a couple of days away, so get this quick ;)) because of some spooky scenes, and an overall creepy feel.
I loved the characters, I think they all had very realistic, well-defined personalities, and it was a great read.
It's such a well-crafted story, very well thought out, and I loved all of the chara
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Brichimt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine Ditzel
Hours before her thirteenth birthday, Jemma learns she has been lied to her entire life. She was raised believing she was an Agromond, when in reality the Agromonds had stolen her from her family in the hopes that she was the prophesied Fire One and could be kept from fulfilling her destiny. Now that the truth is out, however, Jemma flees Agramond Castle in the hopes of finding the family she was taken from all those years ago. Along the way she sees firsthand the suffering that has been caused ...more
Aeicha
When it comes to books there's nothing I crave and love more than an enthralling and well crafted middle-grade read, and Kit Grindstaff's The Flame in the Mist is just that! Wonderfully imagined, with fantastic world-building, storytelling that shines, and a great heroine, The Flame in the Mist was a lot of fun to read.

Set in a world where magic exist and those that can wield it hold all the power, young Jemma Agromond discovers that her whole life has been a lie. A dangerous lie. With her telep
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Kit Grindstaff was born near London, and grew up in the rolling countryside of England. After a brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain) she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a pop song writer.

Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the SCBWI. The Flame In The Mist is her first novel. You can also find her at http://w
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